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The Ways of Evil Men (Chief Inspector Mario Silva) by Leighton Gage
Cover Artist: Andrew Kornylak / Getty Images
Review by Linda Marie Schumacher
Soho Crime Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9781616952723
Date: 21 January 2014 List Price $26.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

The Ways of Evil Men provides a great trip to the jungles of Brazil where local Indian tribes fight for their lives and the land they are losing to industrialization and progress. Local agent Jade Calmon finds a tribe which had been brutally attacked with only two survivors. She enlists the help of Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the Brazilian Federal Police to help solve the crime.

The Ways of Evil Men, by Leighton Gage, takes place in Brazil where a local Indian tribe is brutally murdered, and foul play is suspected. Two Indians, a father and son, survive the attack and are rescued by Jade Calmon, an agent of the FUNAI or the Brazilian National Indian Foundation. Jade brings the surviving adult Indian to town to get help from the local priest who speaks the Indians' language. The priest is also the local drunk, which opens the reader's to all the corruption going on in the town.

All the landowners want the Indians gone so they can harvest lumber on their land. Shortly thereafter, a townsperson is murdered and the Indian is found unconscious next to the victim with the bloody knife in his hand. The townspeople are ready to convict the Indian immediately, but Jade suspects a cover-up. Through some of her contacts, she is able to get help from Chief Inspector Mario Silva of the Brazilian Federal Police, and that is where the real story begins.

Silva is just and fair and the rest of the story is him uncovering the real murderer. The politics of the town and the personalities of the townspeople are very interesting. Silva brings his own staff of investigators and coroners, to avoid any biased information from the town, and as he investigates the murders of the Indians, Silva discovers what happened, how it was done, and why there were only these two survivors.

Silva quickly examines the evidence and determines that the Indian did not commit the murder in town, but he needs to prove it.

Honestly, I loved the story. Chief Inspector Silva is a great character. He is the kind of man that you want on your side. He does not tolerate any guff, but he listens to everyone's opinion and considers all options before making a decision. I also liked that it takes place in Brazil. I have never traveled there and it was fun to hear about the locations and the people.

The author, Leighton Gage, lived in Brazil and was able to profile many problems that are unknown to American readers. I love to travel and learn through the novels that I read and I really enjoyed this one. I was amazed to learn that all the prejudices we associate with the past in the US are still going strong in other parts of the world. Chief Inspector Silva is the lead character in a series of novels by Gage. I had no problem starting with this novel, even though it is part of a series, because there is plenty of background information to follow the story.

The author, Leighton Gage, died in 2013 so this is the last of his novels. I highly recommend The Ways of Evil Men. I highly recommend the whole series, even though I have only read this one. I wish I had read all the others too.

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